One of my favorite parts of being a preschool teacher is the singing. In what other educational setting can you sing basically all of your instructions? In fact, most everything that you want to tell Little People can be sung to the tune of "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" or some other traditional tune.
We do a lot of other singing, as well. Starting a song is one of my favorite ways to capture their attention and transition to a new activity, and of course we have Music and Movement time at the end of every day.
Lately I have been enjoying using new song props with some of our favorite songs. I keep the container of them by our stereo, and we used them in several different ways. One way is for me to hold and move them as we sing together. I find that it's always more meaningful when singing a counting song to be able to hold up the speckled frog props in your hand (after several of them jumped into the pool where it was nice and cool) and say, "How many frogs? Are left? Yes, three are left. Let's count them together. One, two...three!"
I also occasionally let the Little People hold the props and "act out" the song as we sing. If we're singing "Five Green and Speckled Frogs", I hand one to each participant. When we get to the point when one frog jumps, I say, "Johnny jumped into the pool", and off Johnny goes, jumping onto the carpet.
A negative to using the props is that if you have a large class, it can take a lot of time to do the song enough times to let everyone get a turn to hold a prop. However, I had an epiphany on this lately when I realized that it doesn't _have_ to be five little monkeys swinging in a tree. It could be ten monkeys - or twelve. That way, lots of Little People can hold the props, and you might only have to do it twice to given everyone a turn. Another possibility is to line up 12 on one side of the carpet and 12 on the other, and then I call two names at a time (one on each side of the carpet) jump in the middle of the carpet (aka pool).
Of course, you can use any kinds of props for these songs. I know they are actually puppets and cute little props made for most of the popular songs. However, they can be quite expensive, so I started making my own. I just put a set of them in my Teacher Stores.
Here's what is included:
|Five Green and Speckled Frogs|
|Five Little Ducks|
|Five Little Monkeys (There is no alligator in this picture, but one is included in the set.)|
As you can see, I like to put laminate mine and put them on popsicle sticks for easy holding. I used glue dots to put them on, because they stick very, very well.
If you are interested in these printables, you can find them here.